Tuesday’s primary election is the first competive primary for Dayton mayor in decades. The top two votegetters will move on to the November election. We asked the three candidates questions about the city’s economy, housing, crime and other issues on the minds of voters. Here’s a look at some of their responses. See all of their answers and information and answers from Dayton’s five city commission candidates at DaytonDailyNews.com/go/vote
Question 1: Where do you see Dayton in 10 years – what problems will the city have solved? What will we still be fighting?
Question 2: What do you want to tell voters about yourself and your plan for Dayton?
The Dayton of the near future depends upon who we elect as our leaders today. If we elect innovative, creative leaders with “beyond the box” ideas that will transform the street scape and the culture of the region then Dayton will have a more international flavor in the next ten years that will attract a more energetic and vibrant population. There will be more recreational things to do. There will be more downtown options and a good portion of the housing blight will be gone. However,to focus on political affiliations and who can raise the most money for themselves will set us back to where Dayton was in 2008. It will take just 2 years to do this because the innovation and creativity will get mired in agendas and self promotion. Independent thinkers are needed to break the downward trend of the last 40 years. One independent thinker on the City commission has done an excellent job in just three years considering the circumstances. Three would permit us to do a phenomenal job!
We have to accept that in ten years there may still be some blighted pockets in the City. Some neighborhoods will take longer than others to come back.
Four years ago Dayton was labelled as a dying city with no hope for the near future. They say a leader is someone who takes people from where they are to a place they have never been. In just three years we are on more top ten lists than bottom ten lists. We are the most affordable city and one of the best for job opportunities. We are recognized around the world as being immigrant friendly and others are copying our policy. We have become a leader of innovation.All during an economic downturn.
More activity has occurred in the last three years than in the last 20 years and it took creative thinking without fear of political retribution to move Dayton forward again. It is time to keep the political parties out of City Hall and to follow the intent of the City Charter and put non-partisan people back on the city commission. This is the first time in decades that the citizens have had this opportunity and would like to encourage everyone to check out www.independentdayton.com and vote with you heart on election day. Political parties have not made the renaissance happen in Dayton. Caring people with creative thinking have. Creativity is the new prosperity here in Dayton. Without creative thinking we will not prosper. So I ask you all to get creative with your vote this year and put the creative, independent thinkers in City Hall.
I believe initiatives like the Greater Dayton Downtown Plan and the Welcome Dayton Plan will make Dayton more attractive, increasing our business development and population ten years from now. My jobs plan focuses on leveraging our assets, such as abundant water, to bring in new businesses. I also support starting a Council of Entrepreneurs that will improve our business climate, helping small businesses thrive and grow in Dayton. The Learn to Earn campaign will improve educational achievement and allow us to develop a more skilled workforce to attract employers by rallying the community around educational achievement.
The success of these programs will increase revenue and allow the City to invest in better infrastructure and services. This means more police officers on the street fighting crime and more firefighters to protect our neighborhoods. Better services will continue to make Dayton an attractive place to live and work.
The vacant property problem is a fight we have just begun and will take many years to solve. Predatory lending and the national foreclosure crisis hit Dayton hard. We have a large stock of abandoned, run-down and obsolete housing that must be cleared.
I have a Road Map to the future for Dayton. My jobs plan will emphasize leveraging Dayton’s assets to bring in new jobs and improve the business climate to grow Dayton’s small businesses. Through initiatives like Learn to Earn and partnerships with Dayton Public Schools, we will train a workforce to have the skills for tomorrow; attracting more employers.
My neighborhood plan focuses on providing great city services and putting more police on the streets to fight crime. I will fight for background checks on all gun purchases. I want to open and increase citizen participation so Dayton neighborhoods have a direct line to City Hall and the opportunity to take control of their neighborhood’s destiny. A focus on demolition and re-use of vacant properties will improve property values and neighborhood quality of life.
I support the Welcome Dayton Plan, efforts for Dayton to become more bikeable and walkable and a strong arts community because these initiatives will make us more attractive to younger generations and create a connected, diverse community.
Dayton has been through difficult times. The foreclosure crisis and the Great Recession took their toll, but I believe we are ready to move toward a future that is even better than Dayton’s past.
I have learned a lot during my time in public service and while serving my two terms on the Dayton City commission. I am running for Mayor because I believe Dayton deserves a better future.
Former judge and Montgomery County auditor
Ten years from now Dayton has the chance to soar and take flight. However, it will not be an easy task. We must improve educational opportunities, reassure business growth, invest in our neighborhoods and support the arts. In addition, we must encourage others to come to believe in Dayton as a destination, an opportunity and a home.
We can look to Cincinnati as an example of how they transformed “Over the Rhine” from an impoverished and crime ridden neighborhood to a thriving, safe and vibrant area. We must implement a similar vision in our city, in our neighborhoods. We must transform our own neighborhoods from devastation to revitalization. I believe in Dayton and will always believe in Dayton. My mission is to invest in people to create measurable, and sustainable social and economic change in our neighborhoods and community.
Specifically our housing will see a comeback as homeowners, are able find more financing tools to reinvest in their homes, and clean up their neighborhoods. Our community will be safer with a higher level of police and fire protection. Our downtown will have new energy and few vacancies. Our arts and entertainment venues will be thriving.
We will still be fighting poverty and we will still be fighting for our share of the market. We will continue to fight for equality, for education, and for the citizens of Dayton.
As a lifelong Democrat, I have lived with my family in four of Dayton’s city neighborhoods spanning nearly forty year, longer than any other candidate for Mayor. I believe in Dayton and have a vision to take our City to the next level. But I truly believe that vision requires experience to see and understand our whole city.
I am different than my opponents because I have the ability to see Dayton through different eyes by my career and experience, as a former judge, financial leader, business owner and teacher. It is my hope that you will accept my offer to be your Mayor because, as George Bernard Shaw wrote, “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.“ Dayton can do better.
With your support, I believe the combination of my experience and perspective will allow me to serve you and understand the needs of our whole city and lead our City Administration in listening and responding. For these reasons, I respectfully ask for your vote on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.
What are the 10 top races and issues in Tuesday’s election? Page xx
There are issues and candidates on the ballot Tuesday across the Miami Valley. Find out what’s on your ballot on page xx. Also, learn more about the candidates and issues and read past stories in our interactive voters guide at DaytonDailyNews.com/go/vote.